2015-16 Men's Basketball
Defiance 76, Bluffton 68
January 20, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team battled for 40 minutes, but fell to their fifth straight defeat at the hands of the Defiance College Yellow Jackets, 76-68, on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The loss knocks the Beavers back to the .500 mark at 8-8 and to 3-6 in HCAC play. The win keeps Defiance in a tie for second at 7-2 in the conference standings and the Jackets sit at 9-7 overall.
Senior All-American candidate Thayne Recker (Arlington) showed he would be a force inside right away, scoring Bluffton's first 14 points of the contest to push the Beavers to a 14-10 lead. A triple from Austin Terrill (Richwood/North Union) gave the Beavers a seven-point advantage at the 12:29 mark.
The Yellow Jackets trimmed their deficit to two points at the 5:57 mark before a three from Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic), a jumper by Jared Wentling (Carey), and another deep make by Austin Rohde (Shelby) got Bluffton a 34-24 lead with 3:58 left in the half. Defiance responded quickly, finishing the stanza on a 13-3 run, tying the contest (37-37) at the intermission. At the break, Recker had 16 points on 6-of-6 from the floor to go along with five boards for the Beavers.
The first seven minutes of the final stanza was a thrilling back-and-forth battle, featuring six ties and three lead changes. At the 14:16 mark, a Recker deuce gave Bluffton its final lead at 49-47. The Yellow Jackets would score 11 straight counters in the ensuing four minutes to make it a 58-49 game with 10:30 left. Recker and Rohde hit consecutive jumpers to cut it to 58-53 before Defiance poured in eight more markers for a 66-53 spread, making a victory all but a formality for Defiance as the game was never again closer than eight points, which was following a Recker triple with just 22 seconds to play.
The Bluffton shooting in the second half was a key to the loss, as the visitors shot just 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from distance in the final stanza following a respectable 41.7 percent in the opening period. The Beavers finished 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from deep and 46.6 percent (27-of-58) from the floor. Defiance was a red-hot 53.7 percent (29-of-54) from the floor. The home team also outrebounded Bluffton, 32-27, as both teams turned it over 11 times.
Thayne Recker did not disappoint, yet again leading the Beavers with 29 points on 12-of-15 from the floor. Recker also finished with eight boards and three assists. Austin Rohde battled through a rough shooting night for 13 counters, while Austin Terrill finished with career highs in both points (11) and assists (4) in his first collegiate start. Billy Taflinger added six points and seven assists, while Jared Wentling also had six markers and grabbed eight rebounds.
Defiance finished with two in double figures, led by Chris Holmes with 19 and Tyler Alexander with 16 in the victory.
The Beavers return to action for Alumni Day on Saturday, Jan. 23 as they take on the Franklin College Grizzlies. It will be the early game of the double-dipper (2 p.m. tip) with the women’s contest to follow. Come support your Beavers!